SeaWiFS postlaunch technical report series. Volume 5, the SeaWiFS solar radiation-based calibration-and the transfer-to-orbit experiment

Robert A. Barnes, Robert E. Eplee, Stuart F. Biggar, Kurtis J. Thome, Edward F. Zalewski, Philip Slater, Alan W. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The solar radiation-based calibration (SRBC) of the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) was performed on 1 November 1993. Measurements were made outdoors in the courtyard of the instrument manufacturer. SeaWiFS viewed the solar irradiance reflected from the sensor's diffuser in the same manner as viewed on orbit. The calibration included measurements using a solar radiometer designed to determine the transmittances of principal atmospheric constituents. The primary uncertainties in the outdoor measurements are the transmission of the atmosphere and the reflectance of the diffuser. Their combined uncertainty is about 5 or 6%. The SRBC also requires knowledge of the extraterrestrial solar spectrum. Four solar models are used. When averaged over the responses of the SeaWiFS bands, the irradiance models agree at the 3.6% level, with the greatest difference for SeaWiFS band 8. The calibration coefficients from the SRBC are lower than those from the laboratory calibration of the instrument in 1997. For a representative solar model, the ratios of the SRBC coefficients to laboratory values average 0.962 with a standard deviation of 0.012. The greatest relative difference is 0.946 for band 8. These values are within the estimated uncertainties of the calibration measurements. For the transfer-to-orbit experiment, the measurements in the manufacturer's courtyard are used to predict the digital counts from the instrument on its first day on orbit (1 August 1997). This experiment requires an estimate of the relative change in the diffuser response for the period between the launch of the instrument and its first solar measurements on orbit (9 September 1997). In relative terms, the counts from the instrument on its first day on orbit averaged 1.3% higher than predicted, with a standard deviation of 1.2% and a greatest difference of 2.4% for band 7. The estimated uncertainty for the transfer-to-orbit experiment is about 3 or 4%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalNASA Technical Memorandum - SeaWIFS Postlaunch Technical Report Series
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography

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